I was waiting

I didn’t know it
but I was waiting
For so many lost years
I was alone and waiting

It took decades
before finally
I was surrounded by
the love and acceptance
that meant I could begin
to breathe out
and lay down
and let go of it all

The pretending
the perfection
the managing and coping
and making sure that
everyone was OK
Everyone
other than me

I thought if I could carry it all
I would still be loved
I’d still be their little girl

And as long as they didn’t notice
my silent coming apart
life could be the same
as it was before

Before their son
my brother
wielded his adult body
to steal my childhood
whispered his twisted words
to destroy my innocent mind

I was only eleven years old
and he wounded me in a thousand ways
I wanted my family to survive
I wanted them to make me feel safe again
so although I was frightened, broken,
profoundly lonely
I made sure everyone was OK
and I waited.

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